How to Unprotect Excel Sheet without Password

Have you lost the password for the Excel sheet? You don't seem to remember what was the password? Are you worried to lose data in your excel sheet because you have lost the password? Then you do not have to worry because in this article we have gathered some solutions to overcome this problem. Organizations and individuals use to protect the Excel worksheets with password as it contains important data but if you have lost or don't know the password, you can open your Excel sheet without any problem. There are some easy methods listed below that you can use and unprotect Excel sheet.

Solution 1: Unprotect Sheet in Excel

How to unprotect a worksheet in Excel 2003 and Excel 2016? If you do not know the password for the Excel sheet, you can try this method to unprotect the worksheet. For this method you should have WinRAR application. This method can be used to unprotect both Excel 2003 and 2016 worksheets so follow the steps and access your data after unprotecting the worksheet.

Step 1: Change the extension of the Excel file from *.xls or *.xlsx to *.zip and click Yes to confirm. For this purpose, Right click on Excel file and the click on Rename.

rename extension

Step 2: Open the ZIP file with WinRAR. Now click on xl and then on worksheets. There you will see all the worksheets in *.xml format which are in you Excel file for example sheet1.xml, sheet2.xml, sheet3.xml. Now open the worksheet which you want to unprotect with Notepad.

open xml

Step 3: In the .xml file erase the tag <sheetProtection password=… and save the file and close it.

delete tag

Step 4: If any dialogue box pops up asking to update the archive file, click on Yes.

update archive

Step 5: Now rename the ZIP file back to *.xls/*.xlsx extension. And when you will open the Excel document you will able to edit the worksheets which you unprotected.

Solution 2: Use Google Docs

This method is less tricky. The short method is that you copy the whole worksheet which is protected and then paste it in a blank Google Docs sheet and save it. Doing this you will be able to edit the new worksheet without any trouble. Follow the steps and see how to unprotect Excel sheet using Google docs.

Step 1: Open your browser and open

docs google

Step 2: To use Google Docs, you first have to sign in. If you have already an account, then sign in or make a new account.

google sign in

Step 3: After signing in, click on the Main Menu which is at top let corner and then click on Sheets.

google sheets

Step 4: Now make a new Blank spreedsheet.

blank spreedsheet

Step 5: Now you have to open the Excel file. Open the worksheet which is protected and click on the top left corner. With this, you will select all the cells in that worksheet. You can also do this, by selecting the first cell and then press Ctrl + A.

blank spreedsheet

Step 6: After selecting all the cells, copy it by clicking on Copy or pressing Ctrl + C.

copy worksheet

Step 7: Now go back to Google Docs and select the cells with clicking on top left corner or you can also do this by pressing Ctrl + A.

select all google docs

Step 8: Now click on Edit > Paste or press Ctrl + V and save the worksheet. This data will be unprotected and you will be able to edit this worksheet without any concern.

paste worksheet

Also read: How to Remove Password from Excel File.

Solution 3: Use Developer's Code

This is another method to unprotect the Excel worksheet when you don't know the password. this is actually Excel VBA unprotect sheet method. You run the macro in the Visual Basic editor and unlock the Excel worksheet. This is method is little tricky but follow the steps and you will be able to unprotect the Excel file.

Step 1: Open the Excel file and open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications. To do so press Alt + F11.

Step 2: Right click on the worksheet you want to unprotect and click on View Code.

open vba

Step 3: In the left panel a new window will be displayed. Copy the following code and paste it into that window.

vba code

Step 4: Click on the Run or press F5. This will start the process to retrieve the password. It will take some time so wait until it completes.

run vba code

Step 5: When the password retrieving process completes, a dialogue box will open showing you the password. Click on OK.

password retrieve

Step 6: You will see that your Excel worksheet is now unprotected. Save the file and you will be able to use it without any problem in future.

excel worksheet unprotected

Solution 4: Use PassFab for Excel

This is the best method to unprotect the Excel sheet in case you have lost or have forgotten the password. In this method you will use PassFab for Excel software. This software is a complete package to tackle the password recovery problems. You can use it when

  • You forget MS Excel file password.
  • You lose MS Excel document password.
  • Your Excel Spreadsheet password doesn't work.
  • You want to read contents in password protected Excel files.

It provides 3 types of attack options which you can use to recover the password for any version of Excel file.

  • Brute-force with Mask Attack: Set the password length and character settings.
  • Brute-force Attack: Try all possible combinations of characters and symbols.
  • Dictionary Attack: Recover the lost Excel password by trying the password combinations in the built-in or self-created dictionary.

So how to unprotect Excel sheet without password? Follow the guide to do so.

Step 1: Open the Excel Password Recovery tool and import the Excel file.

import file

Step 2: Select the Attack type. Customize the Settings for the attack. The recovery time for password depends upon the attack type you selected.

dictionary settings

Step 3: Now click on Recover and the procedure will initiate to recover the password.

start  recovering

Step 4: When the process will complete you will get the password.

password is fuound

So in this article you have been guided on how to unprotect the Excel worksheet. Losing password for your Excel worksheet is bothersome due to this you can lose the important data and information present in the sheet. That's why we have selected some Excel password recovery ways. You can try any of the method and unprotect the Excel sheet.

Updated on / Posted by Shirley Howard to Excel Tips / Follow @Shirley Howard


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